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We just started our oldest in public school and he is having some problems, so we are trying to support him at home with additional practice on handwriting/fine motor skills.<br><br>
We also are or are planning additional enrichment and support work at home, and are wondering if anyone else can share their experiences with what they have done outside the classroom, when their kids are in public school full time. any concerns about conflicting with the lessons in school or other types of issues? This is our first foray into public school so I am not sure what to encounter.
 

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How old is the child you're speaking of? I ask because school can be a long day, and trying to do "more" on top of the school day can be tough. If there are issues in school have you looked into assessment through your school district? Is the school providing any support within the school day?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>siobhang</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14728155"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We also are or are planning additional enrichment and support work at home, and are wondering if anyone else can share their experiences with what they have done outside the classroom, when their kids are in public school full time.</div>
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I, too, am curious how old your son is. School is a long day and my kids bring home homework. "Additional enrichment and support work" would border on child labour!<br><br>
We homeschooled for years and getting to know schooled kids and school teachers has given be a greater apreciation for what my kids learned through other kinds of activities -- board games, cooking projects, crafts, reading good books together, gardening, etc.<br><br>
My advice is to do the opposite of what school work is. Just do fun things together. Build a model car. Go to the library. Build a ginger bread house. Make cookies and give them to your neighbors. Read a chapter a day out loud to your child (even if they read really well). Go to a play together.
 

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If his problems are limited to fine motor skills and writing (which falls under the same category possibly), I'd see if you can focus on games and activities which encourage fine motor skills but which aren't school work type of activities. For instance, I wouldn't have him tracing letters or writing at home. Instead, I'd sign him up for an art class at a museum where he can practice holding a paintbrush or other art media and improving his hand mobility. Of course, that is if he's at all interested in art.<br><br>
You could try all kinds of craft activities -- sewing, making pottery, or others -- that focus on using your hands. If he's interested in writing, you could focus on writing stories so he gets more practice using a pencil or you could do calligraphy.
 

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DS has dysgraphia and last year we went ahead and paid an OT for a handwriting assessment as we felt we couldn't wait for the SD. This OT specializes in hands. In a one hour, largely fun visit, she was able to tell us exactly where the issue was and gave us a list of exercises to do with him. They're things like picking up different sized/weighted objects with different types of tongs - so the supplies come from the kitchen, the craft cupboard and the dollar store. We make it like a game. We did this because I didn't want to try to do all of the exercises recommended for working on fine motor/handwriting, I wanted to target our efforts as DS doesn't play along for very long. When the SD finally did do an assessment, I have to say it was of much less utility than the private one.<br><br>
We did not work at all on printing at home as DS burned out and hated it - he knew he wasn't good at it, so why do more and feel worse about it?
 

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For fine motor skill practice you can google "Montessori Practical Life" and find some really great activities.
 

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We are dealing with this exact issue with my 6.5-year-old DS. For some reason he just doesn't pick things up in a group setting. However, being in a group setting motivates him to learn, so I work with him at home doing enrichment activities.<br><br>
For handwriting I did the Handwriting Without Tears method. After about 5 months of work with the program, he was writing well enough that he didn't need it any more and it was becoming a battle, so I incorporated writing with other activities. We're using Right Start for math (which he LOVES, it's the first thing he asks to do). We do his spelling words from school with a moveable alphabet, and when I receive it we'll be doing the ABeCeDarian reading program (he doesn't read at all at this point, it's the area he's furthest behind in).<br><br>
I tailor the amount of work/time spent to his energy level. If he's obviously tired we'll shorten the amount of work to about 15 minutes and skip optional activities like Right Start. If he's got plenty of energy we do about 1 - 1.5 hours of additional instruction after school. He still has plenty of time to play and watch TV, so I'm not worried that he's being overtaxed.<br><br>
It does seem somewhat unfair that he has to do all this work at home. But right now if we were not doing this he would be so far behind in school, so it's worth it to me to get it done. I hope as he matures he'll be able to handle more of the work at school and we can switch to doing fun things at home.
 
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